What Are The Causes Of Stomach Pain
Indigestion Spicy foods, minty foods, caffeine, and alcohol, can cause stomach pain, heartburn, and gas. Many people experience lasting heartburn or acid reflux while for others it might just be occasionally. Even over-eating or eating right before going to sleep can cause reflux.
Viral gastrointestinal infection Also known as stomach flu, vomiting and diarrhea, and sometimes fever is the resulting symptoms. This flu generally spreads through households and schools and passes on quickly.
Constipation This is usually described as a change in your bowel pattern with less frequent bowel movements.
Menstrual cramps It is foreseeable based on a womans monthly cycle.
Stress Stress is passed by people in different part of bodies to some people it causes headaches, to some pain in the neck, shoulders or back. Some of us carry stress in our stomachs. A stressful day can prompt a burn-up, especially in people with irritable bowel syndrome .
What Are The Causes Of Severe Abdominal Pain
- Appendicitis the swelling of the appendix , which causes unbearable pain in the lower right-hand side of your abdomen, and removal of the appendix is needed.
- Acute cholecystitis Gallstones causes inflammation of the gallbladder which results in removing of a gallbladder.
- Kidney stones small stones may come out in your urine, but larger stones may block the kidney tubes, and that needs to be broken down.
- Diverticulitis small pouches in the bowel leads to inflammation that sometimes requires treatment with antibiotics in a hospital.
How Is The Cause Of The Abdominal Pain Diagnosed
Physical examination will include a careful examination of the patient’s abdomen, heart, and lungs in order to pinpoint the source of the pain.
- The doctor will touch different parts of the abdomen to check for tenderness or other signs that indicate the source of the pain.
- The doctor may do a rectal exam to check for small amounts of blood in the stool or other problems, such as a mass or internal hemorrhoids.
- If the patient is a man, the doctor may check the penis and testicles.
- If the patient is a woman, the doctor may do a pelvic exam to check for problems in the uterus, Fallopian tubes, and ovaries.
- The doctor also may look at the patient’s eyes for yellow discoloration and in the mouth to be sure the patient is not dehydrated.
Laboratory tests may or may not help to determine the cause of the abdominal pain. Combined with the information gained from the questions the patient was asked and the physical examination performed by the doctor, certain blood or urine tests may be ordered and could assist in determining the diagnosis.
Radiology studies of the patient’s abdomen can be useful, but are not always necessary or helpful.
- Occasionally, an X-ray will show air outside of the bowel, meaning that something has ruptured or perforated.
- An X-ray also can help diagnose bowel obstruction.
- Sometimes X-rays can show a kidney stone.
Ultrasound is a painless procedure useful in finding some causes of abdominal pain.
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Is It Normal For Your Stomach To Hurt After Sex 7 Reasons You May Be Experiencing A Stomach Ache After Sex
Are you wondering: âWhy does my stomach hurt after sex?â
Youâre not alone. Many people report feeling physically uncomfortable after sexual intercourse. In this section, Iâll cover the top seven reasons that you could be having a stomach ache after sex. As always, if youâre very worried about the pain youâre feeling, you should visit a doctor, who can help diagnose and treat the pain.
When To Go To The Er For Stomach Pain
When youre really not feeling well, its natural to wonder when to go to the ER for stomach pain. Since stomach pain is so common, however, many people struggle to make this call.
So, how do you know when stomach pain is serious enough for a trip to the ER?
Complete Care to help answer this question. No more second-guessing when to go to the ER for stomach pain. Learn exactly which scenarios might necessitate a trip to the emergency room and which you can likely handle at home.
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Recurring Stomach Pain In Children
Burning in upper abdomen that worsens after eatingWhen a mixture of food and acid flows back through a weak valve at the top of the stomach , it causes heartburn and a barfy taste in the back of the throat. Heartburn typically doesnt affect young kids, but becomes more common as puberty approaches, notes John Howard, a paediatric gastroenterologist and professor at the University of Western Ontario.
For occasional attacks, try a glass of milk or an antacid like Tums, but if they occur once a week or more, consult your doctor. Avoiding big meals, cutting out carbonated drinks and not lying down immediately after eating may also help. Rather than subjecting kids to invasive tests, Howard usually prescribes a medication to suppress stomach acid productionif it works within two or three days, that proves the problem is heartburn.
Cramps in lower abdomen During a period, theres a surge of prostaglandins which can trigger uncomfortable muscle spasms or cramps in the uterus.
So how do you help your daughter cope? Cramps respond marvellously to over-the-counter ibuprofen, says Issenman, adding that the medication blocks the action of prostaglandins. Many parents also seek natural remediesfrom boosting dairy intake before a periods due to giving herbs like black haw or cramp bark.
Under six months old diarrhea extreme fussiness
Gut Feeling: How To Know If Stomach Pain Is Serious
Abdominal pain is the single leading reason for emergency room visits in the U.S. according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, accounting for more than 12 million of the nearly 139 million annual ER visits. Most people call it stomach pain, but it’s not always a stomach problem. Your abdomen holds many other organs, too, including your intestines , pancreas, liver, gallbladder, kidneys, spleen and appendix.
So its not surprising that, just as with chest pain or a headache, it can be difficult to tell whats really going on in there when your tummy’s not feeling well. Add in other vague symptoms such as nausea and vomiting and you could have the stomach flu, food poisoning, gallstones, kidney stones or any number of other conditions.
Here are some ways to tell what the source of your pain is and when you should seek medical care.
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Your Abdomen Is Suddenly Expanding/swelling Is Bruised In Appearance Or Feels Hard
Sometimes changes in the look and feel of your stomach are enough to tell you when to go to the ER for stomach pain. These symptoms go beyond the more common discomfort of swelling and bloating due to gas, and include:
- Swelling / expanding: Sudden expansion or swelling of your belly couple with severe stomach pain may indicate acute pancreatitis, a blocked intestine, bowel perforation, or other serious complications.
- Bruising: If you are experiencing severe stomach pain and notice sudden bruising of the belly , seek immediate medical treatment. There are two main types of bruising that occur during pancreatitis and a hemorrhagic ectopic pregnancy: Grey Turners sign and Cullens sign .
- Hard stomach: In patients over 40, a hard stomach in addition to stomach pain and other symptoms can indicate diverticulitis , among other conditions.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms in addition to severe stomach pain, they may be a sign of a life-threatening condition. In these cases, its much better to be safe than sorry and take a trip to the ER.
Abdominal Pain In The Er
What emergency physicians do is look for life threats, limb threats, or pregnancy-related issues when patients come in with abdominal pain, says Mike Swindle, MD, who chairs the emergency department for the Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana-Champaign, Ill.
Dr. Swindle, whos spent 30 years as a emergency room physician, acknowledges that diagnosing abdominal pain is challenging, saying that we dont figure out about half of the belly pain cases that come into the ER. That’s why in addition to the ER docs, you may meet with a gastroenterologist, like Moses. Tests will probably be needed because stomach pain can indicate such a wide array of medical concerns, from the less severe gas to the more severe gastritis, ovarian cysts, or gallbladder disease, and from potentially fatal conditions such as food-borne illness to others that might demand prompt surgery, like a small bowel obstruction.
Here are just a few possible diagnoses that illustrate why medical care and testing are often a must:
- Pain in the upper abdomen could be pancreatitis.
- Tenderness on the lower right side of the abdomen could be appendicitis.
- Pain throughout the abdomen could be a perforated ulcer.
- Pain in the upper right abdomen or lower left side might indicate peritonitis.
- Pain and being 8 or 10 weeks late in your menstrual cycle could signal an ectopic pregnancy.
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What Are The Chances Of Having A Gallbladder Attack
While anyone with a gallbladder can develop gallstones, there are many known risk factors for developing them. Here are some common ones, per the NIDDK:
- Being a woman: This is because estrogen can boost biles cholesterol levels and make your gallbladder contract less.
- Being over 40: As you age, the chance of developing gallstones increases.
- Losing weight too quickly: Losing a lot of weight very quickly is hazardous because it makes your liver excrete more cholesterol into your bile, raising your risk of gallstones.
- Obesity and diabetes: Obesity can increase the cholesterol in your bile, so its also a risk factor, as are type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
- Having certain health conditions: Conditions like Crohns disease that screw up your bodys absorption of nutrients can also lead to gallstone formation. Additionally, people with hemolytic anemias, which are conditions where red blood cells continuously break down , are at increased risk. Thats because of how those damaged red cells can increase bilirubin, the chemical we mentioned that can raise your risk of pigment gallstones.
- Having a family history of gallstones: If members of your immediate family have had gallstones, youre at a higher risk of having them, too.
- Being of a certain cultural descent: Indigeneous people have the highest rate of gallstones. The reason: Certain genetic factors can increase the cholesterol in this populations bile. Mexican Americans also have a high risk of developing gallstones.
What Is A Gallbladder Attack Exactly
Just like pretty much every other body part, things can go wrong with your gallbladder. Enter: Gallstones, which can block your ducts and cause a gallbladder attack, according to the NIDDK.
Gallstones are little deposits of hardened digestive fluid that can range in size from a speck of sand to a golf ball, per the Mayo Clinic. If you have gallstones, when your gallbladder contracts to try to push bile out, the deposits can get wedged inside the duct that goes to the small intestine. As you can imagine, this feels beyond terrible. Its exquisitely painful, Dr. Staller says.
What causes a gallbladder attack in the first place?
Its clear that gallbladder attacks happen when gallstones block your bile ducts. But to really understand what causes a gallbladder attack, we need to discuss what causes gallstones to form. There are two types of gallstones. Cholesterol gallstones are usually made up of undissolved cholesterol that joins to form a stone, Dr. Staller says. Fun fact: Theyre typically yellow, according to the NIDDK. Pigment gallstones, on the other hand, are often dark brown or black. They occur when your bile contains too much bilirubin, a chemical your body produces as it breaks down red blood cells.
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Less Serious Belly Pain
As you decide whether to tough out your stomachache, call your doctor, or visit the ER, ask yourself a few questions to see if you can manage at home for a while:
- Could it be gas? Crampy, bloating gas brings with it sharp, severe pain. Gas is a possibility if you have dramatically increased fiber recently or have had an upset stomach.
- Could it be constipation? For many people, constipation is very painful. Try drinking fluids, getting a little physical activity, and relaxing in a warm bath. A laxative or stool softener may be an option to get things moving.
- Is your period on the way? Some women cope with painful cramps each month, but for others they can be an unpleasant and unpredictable surprise. A little exercise, a warm bath, and even an over-the-counter cramp reliever could help.
- Do you have a digestive condition? If you know you have irritable bowel syndrome or another digestive health issue, try some of the remedies that have worked in the past or that your doctor recommended. If they dont work, call your doctor.
- Are you pregnant or could you be? Some pains related to pregnancy are ligaments stretching and can be felt in your belly or deep in your hips. But unusual pains should never be ignored.
When To Go To The Hospital With Stomach Pain
While the type of pain and its location can provide clues about how serious your stomach pain is, sometimes the biggest clue that you need immediate medical attention lies in the other symptoms you may have at the same time.
- you feel dizzy or like you might faint
- the pain started suddenly, feels really bad or suddenly becomes worse
- the pain is in a specific part of your stomach
- your stomach feels very hard and makes it hard for you to move
- you have chest pain and/or its hard to talk or catch your breath
- your skin or the whites of your eyes have turned yellow
- you cant pass wind or poo
- your poo looks very dark , has blood in it or has an unusual foul smell
- youre vomiting blood or something that looks like coffee grounds
- your stomach hurts a lot when you touch it
- you have a very high or low temperature, feel generally unwell or have other signs of
- youre pregnant or think you may be pregnant
But bear in mind that while these are the most common serious symptoms to look out for, they arent the only ones. If you have stomach pain that feels like an emergency, call an ambulance or go to the emergency department immediately.
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How To Calm An Anxious Stomach: The Brain
Ever wonder why you get butterflies in your stomach before doing something stressful? Or why you feel like your stomach is tied in knots after an argument? Ever had a meeting with a toilet that went longer than expected and it wasnt caused by anything you ate? Stomach problems are one of the most common symptoms of stress and anxiety.
Researchers have identified a powerful connection between the gut and the brain. Like the brain, the gut is full of nerves. It contains the largest area of nerves outside the brain with the digestive tract and the brain sharing many of the same nerve connections.
Whether its a single nerve-wracking event or chronic worry and stress over time, stress can exact a physical toll on your digestive system. When you are anxious, some of the hormones and chemicals released by your body enter your digestive tract, where they interfere with digestion. They have a negative effect on your gut flora and decrease antibody production. The resulting chemical imbalance can cause a number of gastrointestinal conditions.
Common stress-related gut symptoms and conditions include:
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- and peptic ulcers
Six Tips for Reducing Stress and Anxiety
Urgent Advice: Speak To Your Gp As Soon As Possible If:
- you have severe abdominal pain, especially if it’s concentrated in one area
- the pain starts suddenly or unexpectedly
If your GP is closed, phone 111.
Serious causes of sudden severe abdominal pain include:
- appendicitis the swelling of the appendix means your appendix will need to be removed
- a bleeding or perforated stomach ulcer
- acute cholecystitis inflammation of the gallbladder, which may need to be removed
- kidney stones small stones may be passed out in your urine, but larger stones may block the kidney tubes, and you’ll need to go to hospital to have them broken up
- diverticulitis inflammation of the small pouches in the bowel that sometimes requires treatment with antibiotics in hospital
If your GP suspects you have one of these conditions, they may refer you to hospital immediately.
Sudden and severe pain in your abdomen can also sometimes be caused by an infection of the stomach and bowel . It may also be caused by a pulled muscle in your abdomen or by an injury.
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When To Call The Doctor About Abdominal Pain
If your abdominal pain is serious, doesn’t go away, or keeps coming back, talk to your doctor. Call 911 right away if your belly hurts because you had a recent injury there or if you have any chest pain.
You should also contact your doctor as soon as you can if you have symptoms along with the pain, such as:
- Can’t keep food down for more than 2 days
- Signs you’re getting dehydrated, including not urinating frequently, dark-colored urine, and being very thirsty
- Can’t have a bowel movement, especially if you’re also vomiting
- Pain when you pee, or you need to urinate often
Also call your doctor if:
- Your belly is tender to the touch
- Pain lasts more than a few hours
You may have other symptoms that could be a sign of a problem inside your body that needs treatment as soon as possible. Get medical care right away if you have abdominal pain and you also:
- Have unexplained weight loss